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House Bill 780 – Regulations for psychological service extenders

House Bill 780 – Regulations for psychological service extenders

Niklas Kleinworth
March 16, 2022

Bill Description: House Bill 780 adds regulations to require psychological service extenders to obtain permits; it also repeals language limiting regulations on residents in psychology.

Amendment Note: House Bill 780 is materially similar to Senate Bill 1286, considered earlier in the session, and serves as an amended version introduced in a different chamber. The few differences between this bill and the Senate bill did not impact the rating or the analysis.

Bill Rating: -2

Does it give government any new, additional, or expanded power to prohibit, restrict, or regulate activities in the free market?

HB 780 creates new extensive regulations of professionals, referred to as “service extenders,” who work with psychologists but who are not licensed as psychologists. This bill repeals parts of Chapter 54-2303 of Idaho Code that limit the effect of regulations on residents in psychology and adds new limits to the work an unlicensed professional may do.

Contrary to the statement of purpose, this legislation grants the state more power in the oversight and regulation of training psychologists. 


Does it increase barriers to entry into the market?

This bill creates a statutory definition of “service extenders” and requires these employees to have a state permit to practice. This provision adds red tape that could restrict the process of training psychologists in Idaho.

The Board of Psychologist Examiners has been issuing permits to service extenders for the last 30 years. It was recently determined, however, that the permitting process is illegitimate, as it was not included in the authorizing language of the agency. In fact, current rules allow licensed psychologists to select service extenders on their own, then report their activities to the board, with no permit required. Additionally, Section 54-2305 of Idaho Code does not give the BSE any powers to issue permits to psychological service extenders.

This legislation attempts to legalize a permitting process that operated outside of any authority set in statute, rule, or intent language for far too long. HB 780 would limit the capacity of the free market to compensate for the need for psychological professionals in the Gem State, by imposing unnecessary government oversight on a profession that was never intended to be regulated in this way.


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